Actas - Consejo de los ADPIC - Ver detalles de la intervención/declaración

Ambassador Al-Otaibi (Kingdom of Saudi-Arabia) and Ambassador Alfredo Suescum (Panama)
140. I apologise for taking the floor once again. I would like to restrict my comments to the proposal on the technical workshop or symposium. Firstly we would like to thank the delegations who have supported the idea of a technical workshop based on the information provided, but we are quite dismayed that a few delegations have opposed the idea of a workshop. The intention of India proposing this technical workshop was simple, we are aware of the working of the Paragraph 6 System. This item that has been discussed in the Council for TRIPS and Members have aired their views on its practical application and its working. The trilateral study too has discussed it and we felt that it is now time to discuss it in a larger setting with multiple stakeholders, including representatives from industry, civil society, from international organizations involved in these issues, from public health experts on an exploratory informal basis without any bearing on any decisions. The proposal was just that – to take it forward in terms of a trilateral co-operation symposium with WHO, WIPO and WTO which is done every year on different issues. It would, in our opinion, increase Members' understanding on these issues without prejudice to the views that each Member has. A number of delegations have opposed this and we would like to address the concerns that they have raised and urge them to reconsider. 141. Firstly I would like to respond to the EU suggestion that it should be a Member-driven approach and could be held in the margins of the Council and could be based on an information-sharing basis where it is Member-driven. We do not necessarily disagree with this view, the timing of the technical symposium is immaterial, it could be when the next TRIPS Council is meeting or in the margins of the Council, but what is important is that a larger stakeholder involvement of different interests and different ideas including industry, civil society and experts would help to break this impasse we have seen for the past decade. It has been discussed in the TRIPS Council but it is not just an information-sharing exercise, it would be a sharing of experiences, sharing of challenges and sharing of different viewpoints. While we agree with the EU on holding it in the margins of the Council, we urge that this multi stakeholder technical symposium is important to get more views and understanding for all Members on this point. 142. The second opposition from Switzerland of being premature, we fail to understand when it would become mature, because the Paragraph 6 mechanism entered into force in 2003. Since then, we have been debating it in the TRIPS Council incessantly, we feel it has become ritualistic and we feel that it is the right mature time, as many delegations including Brazil have mentioned. Switzerland may find that it is premature. This opinion could be stated in the workshop, that it is premature to discuss it, but that should not be a bar to discuss it with other experts. 143. We thank Japan for making the point that they are open to consider if the objective is clear. I think we have made our objective very clear in the last meeting last year, and again at this meeting about the workshop being to tackle Paragraph 6 and to see the challenges and problems being faced in the context of Paragraph 6. Of course Japan has different views on a broader context in which this has to work, and it is free to air that during the symposium. There is no bar against Members bringing their opinions, to even suggest speakers; we don't have a list of speakers ourselves. I think that merely because there is a plethora of other ways to handle this doesn't bar a technical symposium on Paragraph 6, so I believe we have addressed to our limited ability Japan's objection. 144. The US has basically stated that we have different views on how Paragraph 6 should work and there are multiple avenues to promote access to medicines. Nobody is making the point that holding this technical symposium would change that view. The US could continue to have that view and could place that particular view on the agenda of the symposium, but it would be important to discuss that symposium so that we understand better how Paragraph 6 could work. The US also mentioned that they need more information; we fail to understand what other information we could provide. There are topics on the Council agenda for which we have no papers, but we are discussing them without any information. We should be more in a flexible mode of accepting. What we have proposed basically is that Members could come with various suggestions on the agenda, on the speakers, on the formats. The Chair could consult in informal mode how it could go, so it is Member-driven. I would urge Members who are opposing it to reconsider because this is purely a symposium on a technical basis, on an informal basis, which would not influence any decision in the TRIPS Council.
The Council took note of the statements made.
7.1. The Chairman recalled that paragraph 8 of the waiver Decision provided that the Council for TRIPS shall review annually the functioning of the system set out in the Decision with a view to ensuring its effective operation and shall annually report on its operation to the General Council. Furthermore, the paragraph provided that this review shall be deemed to fulfil the review requirements of Article IX:4 of the WTO Agreement.

7.2. He said that the records of the Council's earlier reviews continued to provide a unique and valuable resource for understanding this important measure. This included the records of the reviews in 2010 and 2011 when the Council had held a more structured debate on the basis of lists of topics for the discussion that had been agreed in advance. These earlier records and lists of topics might also inform discussions at the present review. If Members felt that any questions posed at earlier reviews regarding the Paragraph 6 System itself or possible alternatives to it were not adequately addressed at those reviews, they should feel free to revert to any such questions.

7.3. The Secretariat had prepared a draft cover note for the Council's report modelled on previous years' reports (circulated as JOB/IP/13). He suggested that the Council take up the preparation of its report to the General Council after it had exhausted its discussion. The cover note of the report contained a list of Members that had notified their acceptance of the Protocol Amending the TRIPS Agreement (WT/L/641). The following Members had deposited their instruments of acceptance since the Council's last meeting in June: Moldova on 7 July, Kenya on 21 July, Saint Kitts and Nevis on 27 July, Sri Lanka on 9 September, Lao People's Democratic Republic on 29 September, and Iceland on 12 October.

7.4. The Chairman further recalled that the Protocol had been originally open for acceptance by Members until 1 December 2007. Upon proposals by the Council for TRIPS, the General Council had four times extended this period for further two-year periods. At present, the period ran until 31 December 2015. The TRIPS amendment would enter into force once two thirds of the membership had accepted it. For this to happen, another 21 instruments of acceptance needed to be deposited with the Director-General. He strongly encouraged those Members, especially developing country Members, who were yet to complete their domestic procedures to do as soon as possible. If needed, the Secretariat could assist Members concerned regarding the steps that were required in order to accept the Protocol.

7.5. The representative of the WTO Secretariat took the floor.

7.6. The Chairman noted that the vast majority of Members that had already deposited their instrument of acceptance had done so before adopting implementing legislation, if at all, which was not required by the amendment.

7.7. He reported that, at the informal meeting on 14 October 2015, some delegations had reiterated the proposal that a workshop open to all stakeholders be jointly organized by the WTO, WHO and WIPO as part of their trilateral cooperation. While other delegations had indicated their readiness, in principle, to consider such a proposal, they had asked for more information regarding the issues to be covered by such a workshop. He encouraged the proponents to explore the proposal in their direct contacts with other delegations.

7.8. The representatives of Canada, India, Australia, Cuba, Chinese Taipei, Egypt, Brazil, Indonesia, Thailand, Chile, the European Union, New Zealand, Ecuador, Switzerland, Japan, the United States, Bangladesh on behalf of the LDC Group, South Africa, and Uganda took the floor.

7.9. The Council took note of the statements made.

7.10. Turning to the draft cover note for the Council's report (circulated as JOB/IP/13), the Chairman said that, in accordance with the way that the Council had prepared its reports in the previous years, the part of the minutes of the meeting that reflected the discussions held under this agenda item might be attached to the cover note. He also suggested that the report be updated in order to take account of the instruments of acceptance that had been deposited since the circulation of the initial draft report.

7.11. He said that the Protocol had originally been open for acceptance by Members until 1 December 2007. At present, the period ended on 31 December 2015. Given the proximity of this date, the Council might wish to consider again submitting a proposal to the General Council for a decision to extend the period for the acceptance of the Protocol. For this purpose, a draft decision that could be submitted to the General Council for adoption had been included in Annex 2 to the draft report. As the draft proposal for a decision by the General Council did not yet contain a new deadline for the extended period for acceptances, he suggested that the Council propose to extend the period by a further two years until 31 December 2017.

7.12. In conclusion, the Chairman proposed that the Council agree on forwarding to the General Council the proposal for a decision to extend the period of acceptance by Members of the Protocol Amending the TRIPS Agreement until 31 December 2017. The last paragraph of the draft decision by the General Council contained in Annex 2 to the draft report should be complemented by inserting this date. He also proposed that the Council agree on the cover note to the report contained in JOB/IP/13, with the update concerning the instruments of acceptance that had been deposited by Sri Lanka, Lao People's Democratic Republic, and Iceland since the circulation of the draft cover note, and also that the Council minutes containing the record of the discussion be attached to it.

7.13. The Council so agreed.

IP/C/M/80, IP/C/M/80/Add.1